It's Never My Fault ...
Had an interesting experience the other day as I were to make payment for my breakfast....
Me: Table 13
Cashier: (after checking in the system) $5.50
Me: (Puzzled) Hmm cannot be...coz i ordered more than that
Cashier: But it stated here .... Prata & Teh O... Table 14
Me: Mistaken....its 13, & we didnt order that
Cashier: No orders on Table 13 ....blank .... Did you move to another table?
Me: Nope...we sat there all along.... how come there are no orders at the table?
Cashier: (sigh) some times the system is like this.... blank.... got magic... your orders were not Prata & Teh O?
Me: No...it's more than that ... and at Table 13
Cashier: Aiyah..... i think they (the ground staff) didnt key in the orders....what's your order?
Me: Prata Cheese, Thosai, Teh Tarik x2, Plain water x3
Cashier: Ok noted....its $12.50
Me: Ahh...it's more like it....
Processing Transactions ...
Cashier: Here's the change ..... but there is no receipt, ya?
Me: it's okay.... Thank you.... & I'm still wondering about the orders..... if the orders were not keyed in earlier, how come the correct orders were sent to our table?....hmmm.....unless someone else mistakenly paid for our table?
Cashier: Errr....yup, someone else paid for your table... they said they sat at 13.... but actually sat at 30....
Me: I see.... (i didnt pursue further.....)
I found this experience had so much learning points here. A very good case study on human behaviour. The main learning points I derived : the mindset of about "Blaming others" -
1) Cashier: No orders on Table 13 ....blank .... Did you move to another table?
2) Cashier: (sigh) some times the system is like this.... blank
3) Cashier: Aiyah..... i think they (the ground staff) didnt key in the orders..
<Blaming Ground Staff>
4) Cashier: Errr....yup, someone else paid for your table... they said they sat at 13.... but actually sat at 30....
<Blaming that someone else; i didnt pursue further at this point, but there's a possibility she could have heard incorrectly on the table number, and keyed in 13 for payment instead (if that's the case, it was her who was to be blamed....evil laugh!) >
In this scenario, the cashier blamed others on three (maybe four) occasions. While initially I thought maybe there could be a mistake on the groundstaff part for not keying on the orders, but as the conversation went on, it showed so much of her character.
When faced with a problem, or situation like this, it is ALWAYS easy to 'taichi' and pass on the blame onto others.
Sometimes (or rather Most of the Times!) we need to learn to take ownership on the things we do, and take responsibilities for things that had gone wrong.
It's okay to admit mistake mistake (I covered why we must 'Celebrate Failure' in my workshop) & learn from it. People are cool with it. Humans are forgiving creatures actually.
We need to remember, when our index finger is pointing others, the other fingers are pointing back at us.
What other learning points have you got from this experience?
Are You Visible, and Likeable?
An important factor to succeed at work (or in life) is to be visible. One of the ways to be visible at the workplace is to be able to communicate and connect with others in a way that they like to listen and be with you.
A Columbia University study by Melinda Tamkins shows that success in the workplace is determined by popularity, not by who or what you know. According to consultant Pam Holloway of About People, Tamkins’ study found that the workers who were recommended for pay increase or fast track promotion were seen as motivated, trustworthy and hardworking. These are traits of ‘likeability’.
In his book, The Likeability Factor, author Tim Sanders noted these four elements to be likeable:
1. Friendliness: your ability to communicate liking and openness to others
2. Relevance: your capacity to connect with others' interests, wants, and needs
3. Empathy: your ability to recognize, acknowledge, and experience other people's feelings
4. Realness: the integrity that stands behind your likeability and guarantees its authenticity
Which means, if you communicate and connect regularly with your colleagues, while exuding these four “Likeability” factors, your visibility at work increases. When your visibility is elevated, your chances of getting promotion or a pay raise are much higher.
In this article, let’s take a look at 3 simple ways to increase “Likeability” so as to elevate your visibility at work:
1) Offer assistance to your colleagues:
Instead of just focusing on your work, take an interest in that of your colleagues’. If you know of anyone who needs help in meeting deadlines, approach them. It could also a service to the department especially if helping out could lead to better overall work function.
2) Be interested in your colleagues’ ‘beyond-work’ lives:
Take a step ahead than just a hi and bye at the office. By taking interest in their life goals, families and hobbies, shows that you value them as people, not just merely as colleagues at work.
3) Pray for your colleagues’ and be happy for their successes
How many a times did we pray for other people’s success, besides our own? Hone the ability to feel happy for others by having an abundance mindset: there is enough for everyone to enjoy life and benefit from.
Hazriq Idrus is Asia's Trusted Applied Creativity and Speaking Strategist. He founded The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd with a mission to help corporate professionals elevate their values & visibility in their industry. Hazriq is also the author of The Stage Fright Antidote and co-authored four other books. Connect with Hazriq at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you enjoy enjoy working in harmony with your colleagues at work? I believe you do. So am I.
I had an experience working with an ex-colleague who was so direct in her approach. On the other hand, I prefer to enjoy the working environment and get things done in the process.
In the initial stages, we had minor tiffs and disagreements. I felt there was a need to address this; else I would be going to work as if I was going to a battlefield everyday.
In theatre improvisation, there is a philosophy which says "Make Others Look Good." I contextualised this to the working environment where, in whatever we do, always make our colleagues look and feel good (no! This is not "carrying b*lls! Well, afterall, there is no harm in making others happy. In the Law of Universe, if we make other people happy, some other people will make us happy).
So I felt that, one way was to adapt my communication style to that of my colleague's. That helped to solve differences - which led to higher productivity.
If you are facing with similar situation, or know of anyone who does, here’s a quick 3-step method to help you get along well with your colleagues (or family members and friends).
Activate your “Empathy” and identify which behavioural style your colleague is.
Based on the research done by William Marston on behavioural styles, he explained that people demonstrated their emotions based on these 4 behavioural styles: Dominance (D), Influential (I), Steadiness (S) and Compliance (C).
D-style person exudes a direct and decisive behaviour. He/ She wants results or outcomes fast.
I-style person exudes a positive and optimistic outlook. He craves interaction with people.
S-Style person exudes a relaxed and “homey” approach. He/She does not usually share his/ her emotions but have a strong sense of loyalty and the need to serve others.
C-style person exudes his/her attention to detail and enjoys structured settings and sets of procedures to follow. Numbers, figures and data are C-style person’s favourites.
Adjust your communication and interaction style to suit the different groups of people to maintain a positive experience:
With a D-Style person – speak with directness, remain brief and straight to the point. Focus on the business and the results. Offer suggestions to solve the problems and maintain control.
With an I-style person - speak with enthusiasm and allow some form of social interaction before going down to business. Share information in a big picture format because I-style person is not too attentive to details. If possible, include humour in the conversations.
With an S-style person – speak with a relaxed pace and do not be alarmed when he/she keeps quiet most of the time – because S-style person prefers to listen than talking. If you would need any decisions from an S-style, give him/ her ample time to think and deliberate.
With a C-style person – speak direct and to the point with less small talk. If you would need any decision from a C-style person, provide him/ her with as much detailed information (such as facts, figures and data) as possible and allow him/ her time to weigh all things down.
Let the conversation flow with Step 1 in mind. Do note that there is no right or wrong way. The key word is to ADAPT to the personality and everything will go smoothly.
That’s a quick 3-step process. You can even contextualise this method in other settings, example at home or at networking session.
Did you manage to apply it? How did it go?
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
One of the avenues that we could use our speaking skills is at networking events.
In fact, networking events is a good place to spread our wings and expand our reach. Author Don Gabor (of the bestselling How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends) mentioned that most business owners and professionals go to networking events to find "new customers".
But are there other reasons for us to attend networking sessions?
I would suggest for business owners and professionals to have their own individual "goal" before they decided to attend such events. This is so that their time are worthwhile and are more likely to meet their key business objectives for their successes.
Here are my Top Five Reasons why we should attend such events:
1) Build Relationship & Network
This is usually my main reason as to why I attend networking events. In fact, when I launched my The Stage Fright Antidote! book in June last year (2013), I used it as a networking platform for people, friends, former colleagues and business partners to get to know each other and build network. Through this event, we can get to know people face-to-face and long-term professional relationship could be built from there.
2) Find Strategic Partners
A few of my strategic partners I currently work with was because of the fact that I attended networking events. Through this, The Speaking Factory managed to expand our network and offer our expertise to other people who may have not known our existence initially.
3) Find 'potential' Staff
Some companies use this to "poach" suitable candidates and who have shown professional work skills that may be in need in their organisation. While this a suitable platform to identify such people, do remember on some ethics when we want to do recruiting as a result of this networking session(s).
4) Find suitable vendors, products & services
Such event was where I got to know our corporate and event T-shirts and vendors. Currently, at The Speaking Factory, we identified two major vendors that usually help us in that areas.
5) Find new leads, referrals & customers
This is the "blood " of the business. There is no business if there is no customers. Through events like these, we can get referrals & leads that we could build into our existing database whom we could provide our services to.
These are our Top 5 reasons for networking. What are yours?
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
Founder/ Lead Consultant, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
From the Editor
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